South Bay Subletting Sagas
Yes, it’s true. San Francisco has been ranked to be one of the most expensive cities in the world averaging to a rent of $3,500 per month. It’s why my parents decided to move out of Silicon Valley and buy a house in LA at the end of my junior year of high school. In turn, this knocked out a chain of events of me testing out of Santa Clara High a year earlier, enrolling at De Anza Community College, and moving into a converted dining room space in a one bedroom apartment with two foreign speaking roommates in Cupertino, CA for $750 a month.
During such a hectic time where I had to act fast and trust my intuition in terms of academic and housing transitions, I ignored my preferences for comfortable living and frantically sifted through the overwhelming sea of Craigslist subletting ads and desperately booked tours with landlords who had any kind of housing available within a week’s time.
My stay in the converted dining space had its perks of close proximity to school; however it was mostly unpleasant with uncooperative roommates, unenforceable cleaning policies, and lack of privacy. I was more than happy to move out. (The deets of the drama can be found here Roommate Drama)
At the end of June, I secured a field marketing internship in San Francisco in a week and booked out a sweet place on Airbnb in Daly City. $1,100 for a bunk shared with 3 others in a fully furnished, equipped, and modernly designed home close to Bart. During my two month stay, I learned to communicate with my deaf roommate, learned more about the accounting intern role at KPMG and student life at Cal Poly from my other roommate, harbored compassion for my sexist-female mocking roommate from Argentina, practiced my photography skills with my awesome Uber driver roommate, learned some French from some incoming tourists from Europe, and was honored to be the first person a guy from Canada had human contact with after a 10 day silent meditation retreat.
Daly City’s AirBnb truly tested and expanded my social agility skills to the max. It was my first ever shared housing experience that allowed me to live comfortably and learn and exchange new information and ideas and create new long lasting relationships with my roommates.
Upon returning for my second year at De Anza, my next Airbnb reservation was at the Sunnyvale HackerHome Plug-n-Play Center (basically a pretty cozy ranch big enough to accommodate 14 people who were generally Bay Area tech transplants and summer tech interns). Throughout the nine months, I slowly gained co-op seniority since I stayed the longest. Think about it like being a nanny and owning a mother’s daughter more than her mother because you spent WAY more time with her than her mother did. So this basically meant feeling entitled to more fridge and closet space and enforcing cleaning policies. Through this co-op network, I met around 100 other housemates at organized BBQs and picnics from other HackerHomes in Millbrae, Mountain View, San Jose, and Santa Clara.
San Francisco Co-Op Pop up
Co-op living in the city is a perfect social outlet for recent move ins looking to meet new people outside of work and Tinder. If you’re a young International/European entrepreneur, Serendipia Nest is the perfect hub ensuring growth and security living with other entrepreneurs. If you’re crazy fan of cryptocurrency and blockchain, there’s an entire castle waiting for you called Crypto Castle. If you prioritize connecting with your higher inner self and expanding your spirituality, Ubuntu and The Center is known for that. You can find more about what it’s like to live in a mansion with 37 other people here.
Illegal Subletting Mafia
Fast forward, a year later, through friends of friends, I got to know of this well facilitated luxury apartment co-living space housing ten people in two bedrooms near the city’s financial district. I’ve been staying there for about three weeks now, searching for a job while doing temp. receptionist assignments. Although, I ignored the red flags, the lack of transparency from my landlord was a foreshadowing of our first eviction notice, an inspection of our apartment from management, and discovery of illegal subletting.
When looking for housing, it’s crucial to know what you’re getting into and take precautionary steps to ensure you’re landlord is not illegally subletting. For a frantic 19 year old unemployed job seeking resident of the most expensive city in the world, you can imagine what I’m dealing with here. Job hunting with unstable housing with the expectation of getting evicted is definitely a way for a good challenge.
Your Homie’s Solution
HomeShare. Why HomeShare?
Because HomeShare provides affordable housing within downtown San Francisco with other lovely roommates LEGALLY. The city is at your finger tips and cuts commuting costs by 90%, gives you access to fitness centers and quiet co-working spaces for significantly cheaper rent. Because it’s become so popular in metropolitan areas, HomeShare is now expanding to Los Angeles in addition to New York, Silicon Valley, San Francisco. and Seattle.
Jeff Pang, HomeShare CEO, brought this solution to expensive city living six years ago by strategically finding a way for newcomers to thrive in San Francisco professionally, personally, and financially by cutting rent costs. He says his most valued principle is grit, as exemplified by his mother went from speaking no English at 16 to opening up five practices down the road. He exemplified the same when hustling in the first 50 tenants and 500 tours during HomeShare’s first 6 months. He provided a solution for the adjusting immigrant transplants, the broke students, the tech career switchers, and the visionary startup folks who all need the opportunity to grow in the city, starting with a willingness to jump out of the comfort zone and affordable rent.
So, Why Shared Housing?
Reading all of this, you may be wondering, why doesn’t this chick just move back in with her parents if rent is so high? I would choose San Francisco over the Hollywood flamed and famed Los Angeles any day for many reasons. Who wouldn’t want in on San Francisco’s futuristic bubble of booming tech startups, social impact, and innovation around brilliant and conscious individuals paving way for change? This land is designed for the hustlers, the scrappers, the nonconformists, the hipsters, the secretive visionaries, and the awkward geniuses. And if this means paying more rent and sacrificing luxuries of individually living in an entire apartment to gain exposure to the unknown for the development of myself, I’ll do it.